Monday, February 8, 2016

The bananas in our back yard.
Hi family!
So Papeete 2 (BIS) is the official name of our sector. Elder Porter and I don't know what the BIS means, but the missionaries in Papeete 2 are the assistants. So the BIS is just a way to distinguish which missionaries you're talking about on reports and stuff I guess.
Okay, where to start...? So this week went well, as far as misisonary work is concerned. Elder Porter and I had a baptism of on Saturday. That was great! All week we had lessons, some good, some not so good. One time an Adventist guy stopped us on the street and started trying to bible bash us, but there's no way they can win in a bible bash against the truth. The scriptures and the spirit are on our side. My new goal for studying this coming week is to prepare with  the scriptures. The Tahitian culture is such that if you can show someone scriptures that prove your point, they'll probably believe you.  
Elder Porter and I had good numbers for our report, 25 plus lessons, some new investigators, and a baptism, along with several follow up lessons to our new converts. That was nice. Tahitian is difficult, but I am picking up little words and phrases bit by bit. Elder Heno, a short, funny,  frenchman who lives in our house, speaks Tahitian pretty well and he has helped me during a few language studies. I learn a lot when he helps explain grammar concepts, etc. I haven't studied French in 2 months or so now, but I feel comfortable speaking with people in French. My goal is to get Tahitian down, at least in a conversational, functional speaking level, and then return to studying French again. So maybe in 4 months or so.  I really like the French language. But the French they speak here in Tahiti is a bit slang. So I want to really learn it well and study it after my mission.

That's about it, as far as new stuff goes. I marked what street we live on. We live right next to the chapel on the corner of Prince Hinoi and Commandant Chessé. It's a big stake center with a courtyard in the middle. Our house is a little rectangle in the corner of the church property. We have some banana trees growing in our little yard and a bunch became ripe yesterday! So I enjoyed my breakfast this morning. I ate 4 bananas with milk and sugar. We also got a bunch of mangoes from members this week. And we have a blender in our house! My plan sometime today is to make a smoothie with bananas, a mango, milk and sugar and ice. The bananas and mangoes here are super duper sweet and delicious. I only wish we got to eat them more often! A typical meal here is rice and meat (chicken or beef) and baguettes (the white french bread things). If you're lucky there's a salad of lettuce and cucumbers. So getting fresh fruit to eat whenever we want at the house is awesome! They also will feed us other stuff, like poisson cru (raw fish, which is actually super duper delicious) or potatoes and cheese and stuff like that. So the food is good, just really unhealthy and fattening. I am super jealous of the wheat waffles with fresh fruit you all got to eat!

So, I was studying about the plan of salvation. I was studying agency and the role of Satan and stuff like that. I wonder if Satan has agency. What exactly does it mean to lose your first estate? Is our first estate agency or getting a body or... what? I never really found an answer to my questions, but it was still a really interesting study. The gospel is fun to study!

Love you all, have a good week!

Elder Barlow

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